Tyler Angelos, CEO of Angelus Brand, didn’t always work in his family’s paint business, but was rather painting his own way through life. Working as a barback and a bouncer for the young, formative years of his life, he learned through discipline, hard-work, and also a lot of fun, how to find his balance and way in the world before later creating the e-commerce division of the Angelus Brand, Angelus Direct. This blew up hp via his social media strategies and with close to 500k followers, Angelus Direct continues to surprise us with its creative partnerships and collaborations.
Can you tell us three interesting facts about Tyler Angelos that people wouldn’t normally know about you?
I went through Rio Hondos Fire Academy. Once I passed, I was also an EMT and reserve for the Anaheim Fire Department. All while being a bouncer and barback as my night job for seven years. People assume I always just worked for my family, but I actually had quite a bit of work experience before putting my energy into the family business.
I did martial arts for about five years, and I did weight training for about fifteen. It was basically my life, and I put everything into it until my shoulders went out. It was a big moment in my life once I realized those sorts of things needed to go on the backburner, and it took a lot of learning to dig myself out of that hole. I think it is important to realize when you need to let something go and put your energy into something better, or just better for you.
I ended up having a genetic defect in both my shoulders and needed massive shoulder surgery on both. That sort of kicked out my motivation of becoming a firefighter or weight lifting after a year of recovery, and that is when I put all of my energy into Angelus Brand. Turning a bad interaction that really took a toll on my mind and life into a good one by pivoting my life into a better situation.
Who inspires you in everyday life?
I like to learn from cause and effect. I’ve learned a ton from my grandfather, both good and bad, but I would definitely say he’d be like my inspiration. He is the hardest working person I have ever met.
Coming from a highly creative and collaborative field, is there an artist that you would like to collaborate with if you could that you haven’t already worked with?
I tend to work with artists that I make relationships with and I like their art. I’ll do collaborations with them based on that. I would never collaborate with an artist just because they’re famous, or something like that, you know? It would need to be someone I love the vibe with and how they interact with their community. Not to mention the relationship we make by engaging with each other.
As someone who grew up in such a historic, family-owned company, would you say expectations for you were already set high for you growing up, and how did you handle the pressure of having to carry the family name and tradition?
I think I’ve always kind of been like the golden child. I’ve always kind of done the right thing, and never really got into drugs or crazy partying or anything like that, right? So there was always an inherent pressure of always making the right decision.
For example, I don’t have sleeves or tattoos because I was raised by my grandparents who are a very traditional, old school family. That kind of stuff sticks out. That would give me hardcore anxiety before even doing something like that. But when it comes to business, it kind of came naturally. It was really easy for me to make everyone happy with that, and be proud of it.
You know, I never really felt pressure to deliver on it. Because honestly, when I first started it, my grandfather kind of thought it was gonna be like a side hustle, almost like an eBay or an Etsy side business thing. And then all of a sudden, it took off. Once it took off, he kind of was like, well, it’s your show now. I garnered respect from him by showing him that I could do it. It wasn’t even asking if I could do it, but I showed him I could do it.
Everything’s in the pipeline right now. I don’t really have anything finalized yet, but it sounds like we’re gonna be doing custom jewelry and possibly collaborating with one of the biggest fine art companies in order to break the stigma that art companies can’t collaborate with one another.
While the Angelus brand has been around for well over a hundred years, the company seems to be anything but traditional given your constant creative innovations. What has been the most exciting project you’ve worked on to date, or is there something in the works that you’d like to tell us about?
I get excited when a production studio hits us up, like Cirque du Soleil. They’ll need custom colors for some new show they’re doing in Vegas, which we don’t get a ton of publicity from, but it’s just cool to know that we’re a part of that. Or when Disney buys our stuff to rehab or paint a new costume. It’s just cool when you know your stuff is everywhere in the world, and being used by everybody as the industry standard. Because that is kind of where we’re at now. It’s like, almost anybody that has ever painted any type of leather or shoe either knows who we are, or has used our paint without even knowing it.
What business advice would you give young readers who might be having a hard time dealing with expectations in today’s fast-paced and social media-driven world?
I feel like the biggest thing I’ve noticed that’s done really well for my business is the fact that the old school hustle of just meeting people and making relations really translates long term. And while getting the big influencers to post about your stuff may get you money, or may get you a lot of traffic and money up front, actual small relationships that you make on social media via DMs, or just emails just naturally start to slow burn that can become a big burn as time goes on, and actually make the foundation for your business.
How has social media played a part in helping transform and revolutionize Angelus Direct in the 21st century, and what are some ways other businesses can utilize these modern-day tools for their own success?
I actually just had a conversation with another big company who’s having this problem because they’re trying to go from old school to new school, basically. And I was giving them my formula, because my formula is not a secret. It’s not some revolutionary thing of how to be successful on social media.
The real money is in making a difference in the micro and macro influencers, and actually getting engaged with fans that aren’t just going to use your product because you’re famous, or because you’re paying them. So for us, we were very fortunate that people were already using our products, because I’d already made it super popular from social media. But then the use of sponsorships and giveaways and things like that really put us in the big media space.
You seem to have a good head on your shoulders and a positive attitude. What are some things you do to maintain balance in your everyday life?
That was actually a problem I had when I first started really doing well. Because it was so easy to want to keep going. And then that can put a strain on your relationship if all you’re thinking is work, work, work, work, work, work, work, right? I’m married. I have an eight-month old kid.
I found making boundaries and saying when you’re off work, you’re off work. When you’re running the place, you technically can work all through the night, right? Day in and day out, just keep working, but you have to set that there’s family time, and friend time, and stuff like that.
And that was really difficult for me from the very get-go. I’ve finally gotten to where I feel like I have a good balance on it. I have my gym time which is like meditation for me, and I will play video games to release stress.
Lastly, if you could describe your personality in three Angelus colors, what would they be?
Let’s see here. I have to go with Avocado for one just because I love avocado color and everything about avocados. Mint because I want every shoe in a Mint colorway even if I can not pull it off. And Vanilla for being boring? It’s perfect. I love it. Yeah, I’m gonna go with that.
Interviewed by: Romina Martinez
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